Once sworn enemies, in 2012 Angola became South Africa's biggest trading partner on the continent. More than 22 bilateral agreements across a wide range or sectors have been signed between the two nations, and the South Africa-Angola Chamber of Commerce advises local companies on operating in Angola.
South Africa places highly in several international rankings on competitiveness and governance, but some sticking points keep it back, most notably that it is a country of economic extremes. The National Development Plan aims to overturn this status and bring equality; such a change will have a knock-on effect on competitiveness.
The republic is seeking ways to unlock the potential hidden in its oceans. Operation Phakisa has identified opportunities in aquaculture, ship building and maintenance, and fishing that will grow the blue economy. It is a strategy lead by The Seychelles and that requires continent-wide co-operation.
Brand South Africa will host its second South African Competitiveness Forum in Johannesburg in early 2015 under the theme "Active citizenship and its role in changing the South African brand reality".
When Zimbabwe's economy tanked in 2002, the people spoke of "the coin problem". Because there was no change, every purchase had to be rounded up to the dollar. With most people living on the breadline, this was a severe hardship. Enter Econet Wireless and its innovative mobile payment system.